An eight-year-old boy has been charged with murder after he allegedly beat a one-year-old girl while their moms were out clubbing together, authorities said.
The boy, whose identity is being withheld by police, “viciously attacked the one-year-old because the one-year-old would not stop crying,” a Birmingham, Alabama police spokesman said in a statement, AL.com reported.
He then reportedly put the little girl, identified as Kelci Lewis, back in her crib, where her mother, Katerra Lewis, found her the next day, police said.
The boy is the youngest person in recent memory in Jefferson County to be charged with murder, Edwards said.
Lewis allegedly left her daughter with at least five other children, ages two, four, six, seven and eight, on October 11 while she and the suspect’s mother went out from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Lewis discovered little Kelci in her crib at 10:45 a.m. the next day and called police, Edwards said. Emergency responders rushed to the home but the baby, who turned one in May, was pronounced dead at 11:07 a.m.
She died from blunt force trauma to the head and internal injuries, Edwards said.
“This is by far one of the saddest cases that I’ve witnessed, I’ve been a part of, ever since I became a police officer,” Edwards said at a press conference.
The eight-year-old boy is in the custody of the Department of Human Resources and all of the other children in the home that night have been removed from the mothers, according to reports.
“I believe the eight-year-old is going to require some intense counseling for the next several years,” Edwards said.
Lewis was charged with manslaughter and turned herself in to the Jefferson County Jail, police said.
She was reportedly released after posting $15,000 bond.
Lewis’s attorney, Emory Anthony, told WBRC: “The manslaughter statute deals with someone's action, as far as, acting in the heat of passion or acting in a reckless manner, not a person allowing some other person to act in a dangerous manner. I think they are trying to allege that she was reckless or negligent in some particular way, and we'll have to deal with that. Of course my client has a different story about what transpired."
He has not yet answered INSIDE EDITION’s request for comment.
The child's grandmother Waynetta Callens insisted to AL.com that other adults were in the home when Lewis and the eight-year-old boy's mother went out.
"Katerra is not the type of parent that they are trying to portray her as,'' Callens said to AL.com. "We all will have our day in court. Never judge a book by its cover, which means don't try to judge from the outside. People are already talking, I know they are. If you don't know the real story, keep your mouth closed because you don't know what happened."
Lewis had created a GoFundMe page that has since been taken down to raise money for funeral expenses.
“My baby was taken from me unexpectedly, where I wasn’t prepared to have to bury my child,” wrote Lewis, who apparently created the page on the day she found her daughter’s body.
“I would like to raise at least $1,000 for help lay my daughter to rest properly,” Lewis added. Twenty four people donated to the cause, raising $1,185 before the page was taken down.
“I think her punishment is something she’s going to have to live with for the rest of her life, her actions that night. Choosing the club over taking care of her one-year-old is going to stick with her the rest of her life,” Edwards said.